Every effort should be made to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, but failing that, the world could live with a nuclear-armed regime in Tehran, a recently retired commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East said Monday.
John Abizaid, the retired Army general who headed Central Command for nearly four years, said he was confident that if Iran gained nuclear arms, the United States could deter it from using them.
“Iran is not a suicide nation,” he said. “I mean, they may have some people in charge that don’t appear to be rational, but I doubt that the Iranians intend to attack us with a nuclear weapon.” — from this news article
No, the world — that is, the rational world of Infidels — cannot “live with a nuclear-armed regime in Tehran.” It is not true that such a regime can be counted on to be a rational actor akin to the Soviet government.
Because of what Islam promises. Because of what Islam teaches. Because of what Muslims believe. It makes sense to wipe out Israel, in order to remove that horrible Infidel presence in the midst of dar al-Islam, even if millions of Iranians die in a counter-strike. It will justify man’s ways — the ways of the Islamic Republic of Iran — to God. It is only in Christianity that one has to justify God’s ways to man. In Islam, you take whatever Allah chooses to dish out; the Muslim’s lot is never to reason why, the Muslim’s lot is but to do — follow fi sabil Allah — and, quite often, die.
I used to think Abizaid was sensible. I see that I was wrong.
A few considerations:
John Abizaid is not a Muslim but a Christian (Maronite, I think) of Lebanese descent. He is keenly aware that something is not quite right, and that something is very wrong, with Islam.
It is unclear that he did anything wrong in Iraq. What would constitute doing something “wrong” once the initial invasion as over? Not trying to fulfill the mission? Trying to fulfill it? Trying to fulfill it while coming to the conclusion that it did not make sense?
What his statement about Iran reveals is that he does not realize how irrational, by our standards, Ahmadinajad and others in Iran and elsewhere in Dar al-Islam are. They are simply calculating casualties. And if they can eliminate Israel, which is very small, completely, and only suffer a few million casualties themselves, then some think to themselves that it is worth it. And besides, any Iranians or other Muslims who die will have died in a glorious cause, and Paradise will surely not be denied them. Those who rule Iran really believe this.
It is we who have trouble suspending our own disbelief, and recognizing what to us would be fanatical belief, in others. This Abizaid has not apparently been able to do. Of course, in his everyday activities in Iraq, he met Iraqis — Iraqis who seemed perfectly rational. But what kind of Iraqis would he have met? The holdover household servants of Saddam Hussein, the tasters and drivers and wait-staff who were mostly Christians. Saddam knew he did not have to fear any violence from Christians, who after the invasion served in the same way for the American generals and high-ranking civilians.
And the Muslim Iraqis Abizaid would have met with most frequently would have been plausible fellows, often the secularists of the Allawi party, or of the Chalabi party, or others. They were real Believers, but were still eager to curry favor with an American general who could be a source of aid and reconstruction projects, if one treated him in the oleaginous way that all too many Middle Eastern Muslims think is the only way to curry favor with the Infidels (“at your feet or at your throat”).
He still doesn’t see the risk, because his own experience with Islam, which might at first glance seem extensive, turns out to have been skewed — skewed for him, skewed for all the high-rankers, civilian or military.
Don’t attribute anything to Abizaid “because he is an Arab-American.” That’s silly. But you can attack his remarkable statement for what it reveals about his understanding of minds on Islam. He hasn’t yet grasped it. Perhaps someday he will.